Exploratory study on factors impacting job satisfaction among ethnic minority employees
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As organizations are being confronted with the pool of people seeking employment that are increasingly diverse in terms of ethnicity (Oerlemans et al. 2008), and as job satisfaction has been one of the important drivers for work-related well-being in employees, there have been a number of studies about job satisfaction among ethnic minorities (Spector 1997). Although there is a growing body of research on job satisfaction and ethnic minorities at work, there is still a paucity of studies regarding factors impacting job satisfaction among ethnic minorities specifically. The present study explores contributing factors impacting ethnic minorities’ job satisfaction, using qualitative method based on Motivator-Hygiene Theory (Frederick 1966, 2003) and Job Characteristics Theory (Hackman and Oldham 1976). Three Hispanic/Latino Americans and three Asian Americans, all workers in construction sites in Samsung semiconductor in Austin, Texas, were individually interviewed with open-ended questions by the author in the summer of 2010. Participants reported professional development opportunities and appropriate and well-deserved compensation as the main factors impacting job satisfaction, while heavy workload, not being recognized, time constrains, and stressful work environment were reported as factors in dissatisfaction. Family, personal goals and money were the three most important personal values that participants considered when making decisions about their career paths. It is important to continue to examine other predictors of and contributing factors to job satisfaction of ethnic minority employees, so that their employers and managers in the work place can form a better understanding of these populations and work effectively with them. It is also important to educate human resources professionals about ethnic minorities’ needs and how those needs can be met for work-related well-being.